Generation Robots' Smart Pepper software is a great tool for everyone, techies and business users alike. It allows you to choose Pepper's modes, make presentations, chatbots and even entertain your visitors. Join us for a product overview!
Interview with Nicolas Representative from Generation Robots and Elad Inbar, CEO of RobotLabs
Elad: Hello everyone, and welcome back to our channel. My name is Elad Inbar. I'm the CEO of RobotLab. And today I'm with Nicolas from Generation Robots, a multinational company that's focused on robotics. And today we are going to talk about a Smart Pepper, a great software that we bring to the U S makes Pepper smarter than it is out of the box.
Elad: Thank you Nicola for joining us
Nicolas: Thank you for inviting me. Hi guys.
Elad: So Nicolas, can you tell us a little bit about the background, why you developed Smart Pepper or where the need came from?
Nicolas: Yeah, sure. Just a word about our company Generation Robots. We've been on the market for the last 10 years. We're family owned, our owner is still our CEO, his name is Jerome Laplas and Jerome was actually one of the first beta tester of the little brother of Pepper.
So, we've been working with the company for producing Pepper now for, for a long time. And the background of Smart Pepper was that, well, when you buy a pepper, it comes with a software which is called choreograph, where you can program things yourself and can access many of the features, the robots, like the motions, the sensors, etcetera. We've been selling Pepper from the beginning using software. And what we realized is that customers were asking us a lot of questions about how to do anything basically with the robot.
And we came slowly to the realization it would be interesting for people to have a software where a known technician could really start to make his presentations, dancers on entertainments and different modules very, very easily. And slowly we started to create the first version of a smart pepper. And smart pepper is an application which is, which consists of 18, 19 different modules. And we've done it like when you buy a car and you want to you want a special upholstering on the seats...
Elad: Better audio, better this or, yeah.
Nicolas: Exactly. So we, we decided, we said if you want to buy small paper and we will give you the framework and you can select which module you would like. The modules are independent and it's very easy to enter what the robot will say, what the robot will display on the tablets for Pepper, how the robot will move. And so, it started like this.
At the beginning it was local, on the robot. So you have basically to be next to your robot to be able to change anything. And maybe after I can show you a little bit how it looks. Now we have put it on the cloud, so you can manage a fleet of robots with a cloud solution and we can go into each module and change whatever you would like the robot to display. And then you can have the next day when you plug your robot in, you can have everything on Pepper and Pepper will start doing the things.
Elad: Nicolas can you give me some of the examples of some of the modules on what are we talking about?
Nicolas: Yes. Let me just open my screen. I will just check to how I can share. You see?
Elad: Yeah. Now I can see your screen.
Nicolas: Okay. So what do we need to be determined here? So the way the way he is is you can see here a first robot pepper at the moment it's offline because you have red dots. If it were online I'd be connected to one robot and it would've been green. You have here the different configuration that you have on your robots, on the same robot, on the same pepper, you can have many different content in all the modules. Let's say for example, you have your bank or your university and you have two main departments, then you can have the whole content for one department on the first configuration, and then you would have another one and you can very easily switch from one to the other, depending where it's by just activating.
Elad: Just to make sure that they understand that each configuration is like, it's like a different setting. So I can take the robots moving to a different place and you know, click it back then and now it has different skills, right?
Nicolas: Yes, absolutely. Because likes this. You could say for example, let's say you are a teacher and you would like to, you have a class and you're teaching something. So you've configured your robots and the presentation and the quizzes and the FAQ is a differently. And then now you have to go and there is an open doors for universities where they would like to present a university or just a trade show. Then you have to put another content and instead of erasing long and doing a mixed nine match, you just create an author configuration. And you can do as many configuration on one level as you want.
Nicolas: That the modules here that you see you have a little button which tells you that you can launch the application and then it would start playing. The different things that you've configured. The way we put them is in alphabetical order. So you have two main types of of modules. One is modules like appointments for example, Dances, FEQ, Guess Me, Guide, Hnagman, Delivery.
All of these are a little miss maps (pointing towards map). Tomorrow I will go quickly on some of them. So you can see here all your possibilities. And the second type of things are how you configure the way Pepper will answer you or we display the different things. That's why you have here as the menu, which is appearing as hamburger menu. All of them come with an explanation. Here it says that you can change the volume, you can mute it, you can disable the voice recognition.
Sometimes on the trade show you're don't want them to discuss or not. You can change the language if you have a multi-language robot, you can custom CSS. So, you have parameters that you can configure very, very easily, which you normally need to do all this would take you a very, very long time to program. And the main advantage of smart peppers, we take it just as it is, you put your own content, your own corporate idea, your images, your videos, and you're good to go.
Let me show you. For example, we have, hotel module, we'll call it hotel, but it could be the different branches of a bank. For example, on the left we have the language, on my robot because we are in France working with Germany and the UK, we have many language on the robot, so I will put it easily in English. And then you see on the top you always have a dialogue, which is the sentence pronounced by the robot. And I can change whatever I want. Like for example, "here are the branches of our Elad banks", when I just click outside of the box you see that it's been successfully updated.
This is what the robot will display, because before it was what it would say, now its what will be on display. So branches of Elad's bank and be out, you see. And then the content would be here. You can have a picture in this module, the name of the branch, the address, the phone number and the description which will appear on the tablet of the robot. But also will be told by the robot, we'll say that it's located there. You can add as many branches as you would like. The way we was just done it is basically how most of the modules are working but this is to show examples.
Elad: So for example, if I'm a university I can use it to show different faculties or different buildings.
Nicolas: Absolutely. Absolutely. It goes very, very well with another module, which is called Team. You can see it's exactly the same way to do it. Dialogue, display content. You have introduction. So let's say I would like to say in university who is responsible for computer science. I just add the module before to show that we have a computer science department and where it is.
And then I wouldn't show who in the university is, for example, the main teacher, the main professor, and you have these, speakers on the team and then the name and a little description of what this person is. It's very, it's very good to show a complete team members or company directory in universities, departments directories. And as you see, it's very, very easy to do. You just upload a picture and then you type the names and the content and it's quite quickly.
Elad: So, when you said dialogue, do you expect the user to talk to the robot or just click the screen or what was the interaction looks like?
Nicolas: So, the interaction is like, I'm not sure if you can see.
Elad: Yeah, maybe if you can stop your screen share, so your video will be louder.
Nicolas: Sure. Fine.
Elad: There we go.
Nicolas: So it's a little bit difficult maybe to see.
Elad: : I'm seeing perfectly fine.
Nicolas: On the rpbot you have different menus. For example, from our billing information. "Show me the products" (Nicolas to robot). So that was a team that I was showing. I just muted two seconds. So the interaction is, either you select something on the tablet and you just touch a clip or you just talk to the robot, and the robot depending on the keywords you have chosen, like I say, team, which you can, obviously let me share my screen again.
Here for example, if I had to ask Nicolas then he would show me the name of a person. So the interaction is very smooth. Next, would be modules. You have what we call small talk, which is which part of sentences that you can ask the robots or you can say independently from any modules you are in. For example, you can say, "see you tomorrow Pepper, and then he will answer "see you tommorrow". So you can add a lot of interaction. Main question that people are asking. You can add a lot of smart, intelligent, clever, are you a robot? What can you do? How old are you? Can you do coffee? It supports the multi-dialogue. So, for these little brackets you see..
Elad: Are based on the dialogue synthecs.
Nicolas: Dialogue synthecs, exactly. Some random things or variables, then we explain it in the documentation. Then you can of course say, the robot can answer different things so that it's not always the same "yes, no, who's who, but alot of variations. The principle of Smart Pepper.
So, you have basically, information modules, which are frequently asked questions. You can have different categories of questions on a tablet. Each category you can have as many frequently asked questions as you would like. You have your appointment module, which is when someone comes and asks for I have a meeting with me. Then you have presentation. So a presentation, I will launch a presentation now to show you.
Elad: In the presentation, it goes into a slideshow an durable description.
Robot: Anything else I can do for you?
Robot: What do you want to know?
Robot: Anything else I can do for you? What do you want to know? Its a wonderful team. Which presentation do you want to know about? (Robot doing presentation)
Elad: Sorry. I can totally say like, you know, universities or schools using that like at the entrance, our university was established in 1842 and we have this and we have that and then collect some information or you know, you have an appointment you know, the registration office is right over there. We have you know, different faculties and deck presentation for each faculty and some kind of like a, you know, a chat. So you know, what would you like to know about the university? So we want the business users to be able to control that without any coding.
Nicolas: Exactly. The modular space for example, you have the ability to show a complete map of all the ability in each floor, where what's located. We have a satisfaction survey. So if you're in university, you just have beginnings and you would like to know the people were satisfied or not, then you can you can use this satisfaction survey.
We have kind of a opt-in module where people can leave their, their name, their email addresses and also, when we request any information, then you have the little box to put the data privacy act where you can leave all your details. So it's very useful because you can program and change everything you want very quickly. You can pay videos on the level you can you can see the different interactions with it so, it's very flexible.
Elad: Yeah, that's awesome. I mean we have several universities that are already using that. Maybe, you know, we can share, you can share with us what you see from the background. What are the most exciting features or, people really love and really engage with?
Nicolas: Yes, presentation is definitely a hit because we've been selling Pepper most of the time with the presentation module. The satisfaction survey is very useful. The quiz, because you can personalize or customize the quiz; and not to forget we always advise customers to invest in the entertainment modules. We have memory games, we have dances, we have selfies because the interaction is even if you want to be very serious, people love to interact with the robot, when it starts to dance, they love to propose it at the memory games and the different games we propose we can personalize them. For example, we have a Guess Me game where the robot will show you an image and you have to guess what it is, and then you can customize it to go university callers or nice to a team etc.
So, not only the very useful modules like presentation, but the fun ones also where we see most icebreaking with the robot, because at the beginning you and I are working daily with robots. For us it's very normal, but many people are like, what the heck is this? And to break the ice, this is a, this is quite good. We noticed also feels like the weather up, or announcing the menu, the counting what will be the restaurants today are things that are really, really life because it makes the robot very human and people simply like it.
Elad: Yeah. And it's relevant to current time, current place, which is really good. So let's say I purchased that in university and I want to show my administration that it's working. People are engaging. Are there any statistics or are you collecting data on the interaction with the people?
Nicolas: We have statistics and interaction. You can see how many people have interacted with whch module, how many people have left data, if you have a satisfaction survey, what have they answered so that you have the results. In our satisfaction survey you can even talk to the robot and the robot will recall; like you talk to me nd I just recall what you say and you can get this as well, so that you know the robot was useful and you can show it.
In Europe we sell it often with two human, three languages. So not forget the aspect or the state; you can have it in Spanish in German, French and Spanish.
Elad: Yeah. English and Spanish are dominant.
Nicolas: The software itself, the cloud is English. There is absolutely no issue to input Spanish content if your robot has a Spanish language installed, then I'll do it in Spanish.
Elad: Yeah. Awesome. Yeah. So I definitely see that a good idea to present to my Dean why he invested so much money in the robot from the software and everything and just coming up with a presentation showing like all the breakdown is great.
Nicolas: Well, we have seen here out there two kinds of universities buying the robots the first time to with the programming and yeah. You have to show some results and having Smart Pepper to present those results, also a very good thing to do because just how we do the presentation app will take you quite some time.
Nicolas: The second type of universities are the one who are working a lot with a machine, a robot interactions, cognitive functions and they like a lot the ability to be able to put different tests on the robot very easily, different presentations, different questions and that's how they use Smart Pepper.
Elad: So you can create for the first type of a universities, you basically do your research human robot interaction or whatever, and then you use the robot as a presenter. Explain what you. I tried this and I tried that, which is really, really nice. And for the second part, that you're doing I dunno, some research in psychology for example, so you can have different - like a big like a big buckets.
I have like a, you know, in one scenario the row with is really accommodating (I'm just making it up now) and in another scenario that is really me-me, so you know, you want to measure the lengths of interaction and the reaction and this kind of thing and you can have both of them installed in part; just turn on one, turn off the other one and you decide, you how the whole thing works which is really cool, really easy, making the researcher's life pretty easy.
Nicolas: Also, I took (in my opinion) two clear functions;
You can still program any apps you want on the robot next to Smart Pepper.
Using choreograph you can program whatever. Some conflicts might arise, depending on what you do, but generally there is no issue. It's not what I want to say to say, its not lock environment.
And the second thing and now with the cloud solution, we offer as you know, we offer the ability for people to test and have a license for 10, 15 days, and if they like it then they can buy it. So its absolutely no risk to test and just try on normal robot. What happened after this it helps to revitalize Pepper if you have Pepper for 2 years and youd done your research, moved on on something and you can still revitalize your robot and do something very useful.
Elad: That's awesome. That was great. So what's coming up next? Where do you see the Smart Pepper project goes forward?
Nicolas: In Europe, the Python version it's not sold anymore, so it's more the Android version coming out and we see the development to integrate chatbots, interactive like with dialogue, flow or things. And still adding couple of modules on Smart Pepper. At the moment we have to request from some clients to add some personalize modules. So, we'll put them in the main catalog or not. Most of the developers for Pepper are selling something which is a little bit different from Smart Pepper. They always do from what I know, very customized things for one client and Smart Pepper you can use for any clients.
Elad: Yeah. That's great. I can't wait to see, you know, what's coming up next. Thank you very much Nicole. I appreciate your time and the walkthrough. It's really exciting and I can definitely see how this, software can make pepper more relevant and more useful in practically no efforts. If you can edit a PowerPoint presentation, you can make, Pepper do things present, talk to your customers.
Nicolas: It's a great analogy. And thank you very much for inviting me. If you guys have ideas, about development and stuff like this, we're always open. So it's been great working with you and also.
Elad: Thank you Nicolas. Thank you, have a good one.